November 9, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Goodwill’s Veteran Integration Program Celebrates 5 Years and 1,200 Job Placements
Las Vegas, (November 9, 2017) — November 12, 2017 marks the 5th anniversary of Goodwill’s Veteran Integration program. The program, which is run by veterans for veterans, has exceeded expectations by placing 1,255 Southern Nevada veterans into local jobs in 5 years.
“I’ve been grateful and amazed by the demand for our services and results,” said Nina Ridgeway, Manager, Veteran Integration Program, “When you think about it, we are placing about 5 veterans per week which is astonishing.”
Goodwill’s Veteran Integration Program helps veterans and their families transition from military to civilian life, find employment, advance in their careers and ensure long-term financial stability for their families. “While you would think military skills directly translate to the civilian workplace, they don’t,” according to Ridgeway. “What we do here, is we help veterans show how the skills gained in the military are relevant to the civilian jobs they are interested in,” Ridgeway added, “We help them discover their strengths, the type of work they will enjoy doing, and how to talk the talk, making themselves highly marketable to employers.”
The Veteran Integration Program is unique in that we also help direct family members of veterans. “Multiple long-term deployments mean someone in a military family has to stay home and provide,” Ridgeway said. “When the military member transitions from the military, family members often must make the same transition,” she added, “They often have gaps in their work history making it hard for them to get a job and need assistance in addressing these challenges,”
Creation of the Veteran Integration Program was inspired by a record-high unemployment rate among veterans and a lack of specialized employment services for them in Southern Nevada at the time when Nevada had the most rapidly growing veteran population across the country. The program was made possible by a foundational grant in 2012 by Nevada Women’s Philanthropy. Since that time, many local companies have provided financial support for the program with major funding from Bank of America Charitable Foundation Neighborhood Builders Excellence Initiative, the Wells Fargo Foundation’s Neighborhood LIFT Program, the Walmart State Foundation’s Giving Program, and USAA Savings Bank.
The Veteran Integration Program is part of Goodwill’s mission to fight poverty with jobs. At Goodwill, we believe jobs are a true systemic solution, helping reduce homelessness, hunger, addiction, family instability, reliance on government assistance, and more. Along with veterans, Goodwill serves people with disabilities, older workers, youth, the long-term unemployed, and the formerly incarcerated. Goodwill operates 3 Career Connections Centers where job seekers receive free one-on-one training, workshops, hiring events, work experiences, and job placement services.
There are many ways the public can help support Goodwill and the Veteran Integration Program. Donations are welcome at any Goodwill Attended Donation Center. Shopping Goodwill Thrift Stores provides revenue to support our mission, and financial contributions directly benefits Goodwill mission programs such as the Veteran Integration Program.
About Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Founded in 1975, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, accepts the communities’ gifts in the form of donated goods and sells those items to provide free job training and placement services for unemployed locals.
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Goodwill of Southern Nevada